Stuck in the middle of spew

It transpires that David Mundell’s own reelection campaign was a recipient of the dark money donated to the Scottish Conservatives by secret donors. His election victory was bought on the back of donations from unknown sources.  It shouldn’t really be a surprise that the Scottish Secretary of State’s reelection campaign in 2017 benefited from mystery funding, since what he does to benefit Scotland is a mystery too. David easily ranks amongst the top 99% of UK politicians.  The only reason he doesn’t rant in the bottom 100% is because of the existence of David Davis.

Former Tory MP Peter Duncan, who resigned recently from being a trustee of the Scottish Unionist Association Trust, the shadowy organisation at the heart of the dark money scandal, told the BBC that the £318,876 which the SUAT donated to the Scottish Conservatives was the “historic proceeds of tombolas and raffles throughout the West of Scotland going back 50 years”. That’s possibly the least convincing explanation since the insurance claim of a driver who drove out of their driveway and hit a bus, and said it was the bus driver’s fault because the bus was running five minutes late. And the bus driver wasn’t even Wullie Rennie.

Incidentally, while we’re on the topic of donations. It was recently brought to my attention that there is a British nationalist gammonista on social media who was in full harrumphery mode that indy sites which benefit from crowdfunding have no right to talk about Conservative politicians receiving secret donations from anonymous people. Whataboutery is a side dish usually served with gammon.

There’s a big difference, Bella Caledonia, Wings Over Scotland, Scotland Goes Pop, Common Space, and me, we aren’t making your laws and imposing austerity on you for the financial benefit of the super-rich, and we state in public precisely what people can expect in return for their donations. Making a moral equivalent between the two is like claiming that collecting money from colleagues at work in order to buy present for a workmate who’s just had a baby is exactly the same as someone interested in buying the company having a secret meeting with the manager to offer them a luxury car and a foreign holiday in return for cutting employees’ wages and slashing their holiday entitlement.

We are open and upfront about our fundraising campaigns, the overwhelming majority of which are small donations of a few quid made by ordinary individuals who are far from wealthy. The Tories solicit donations from extremely wealthy individuals and companies in secret. There’s a general rule in thumb in life, you don’t get to be rich by being a generous and giving person, and the very wealthy who donate large sums to the Conservatives behind closed doors aren’t doing so out of some disinterested sense of charitable altruism. In return for their cash they expect the Tories to pass laws which benefit them and their financial interests. That’s precisely what the Tories do.

It was the national poet Rabbie Burns who wrote that we are bought and sold for English gold, in Fluffy’s case, he’s bought and sold for gold given in secret in dark rooms. At least those who sold Scotland out in the early years of the 18th century admitted who they were selling their souls to. Mind you, Fluffy is so lacking in competence that he’s quite possibly sold his soul to satin and we can now look forward to seeing him make some interesting sartorial choices.

Public and political life in the UK is drowning in a dank cesspit. The Tories are funding themselves with secret donations from unknown individuals. They’re buying elections with dark money. Then they use the power that they’ve gained on the back of this dark money in order to pursue an epic act of national destruction that is Brexit and spend all their time and energy fighting with one another while they trash public services and strip workers of protection and deprive the poor and disabled of a decent and dignified standard of living. Meanwhile, as the utter humiliation of Brexit looms and we’re staring catastrophe in the face, the Labour opposition is mired in a destructive fight about anti-semitism. The current UK political scene can be summed up in that Gerry Rafferty song, “Anti-semites to the left of me, racists to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle of spew.”

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the far right is taking the advantage of the opportunity to gain influence. Even worse, they’re being normalised by a BBC which is allowing them airtime. We already have Question Time and the BBC to take a large share of the blame for the high public profile of Nigel Farage, and this week Radio 4’s Today programme broadcast a largely uncritical interview with Raheem Kassam, an acolyte of Steve Bannon and editor of the far right website Breitbart, championing the chummily named “Tommy” who was released this week from jail after serving time for contempt of court. Raheem, by the way, is a man who is on record of saying of Nicola Sturgeon, “Can someone just like … tape Nicola Sturgeon’s mouth shut? And her legs, so she can’t reproduce. Thanks.” The interview was another step along the dangerous road of the normalisation of the extreme right wing.

There are reports that Bannon is now liaising with Conservatives such as Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees Mogg in order to drag the already right wing Conservatives even further to the political extremes. Labour is being castigated and criticised for its anti-semitism, but the anti-muslim prejudice which is rampant in the Conservatives is passing largely unremarked. We’ve seen plenty of these double standards in Scotland, where SNP politicians are hauled over the coals by the media for the slightest infringement, real or imagined, whereas the serial scandal of one Scottish Conservative politician after another being outed as a racist, a sectarian bigot, a misogynist or a homophobe is shrugged off as just one of those things.

Back in 2014, Scotland was assured that it was only because we were a part of the UK that our public life could guarantee the highest democratic standards. Opponents of independence smugly told us that being British meant being immune from extremism and intolerance. Four years later and the far right is being normalised in the British state. Intolerance and hatred is becoming public policy.

There is no evidence that SUAT money is in any way connected to the extreme right, and I am certainly not suggesting that it might be, however in a country where political donations are mired in secrecy, where political parties seek donations in private in return for who knows what influence, the rise of the extreme right and its normalisation by the media is a deeply alarming development.  The point is that the way the UK’s political system is currently set up, the far right could buy influence in a British political party, and the public would be none the wiser.

The UK doesn’t offer Scotland protection from extremism, from hatred, from intolerance and racism. It puts us at threat of them. Scotland within the UK is at risk of being bought and sold for far right gold. We need out. We need a written constitution that provides a clear and transparent framework for our politics, and which gives us all a guarantee of our civil and human rights.


This weekend I am speaking at the launch of Greg Moodie’s new book Cool Scots. The book launch will be downstairs in the Yes Bar in Glasgow from 2pm. Entrance is free and everyone is welcome.

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28 comments on “Stuck in the middle of spew

  1. Dan Huil says:

    The so-called united kingdom is disintegrating before our eyes. This disintegration, whilst a joy to behold, must be accelerated. We can all give it a wee bit of a shove. For example we can use the [licence fee] money which would have added to the britnat bbc’s coffers and instead give the money to websites like this one.

  2. […] Wee Ginger Dug Stuck in the middle of spew It transpires that David Mundell’s own reelection campaign was a recipient of the […]

  3. The normalisation of the far right is all part of the plan that will allow the WM BritNat Regime to introduce draconian measures (read ‘Police State’) to clamp down on social disorder which will surely occur as these groups continue to rise via the oxygen of publicity by the likes of the BBC.

    “But your majesty – won’t we kill our own men?”

    “Yes – but we’ll kill there’s as well.”

    Divide and rule. Introduce draconian control measures by encouraging the rise of the far right extremists. We react. And the WM Regime has the excuse to introduce their liberty-choking measures.

    • Liz g says:

      We must have a care to keep a lid on our own hot head’s
      They know violence,they are good at it.
      We must stay away from letting it get to that.
      This accursed Union has had enough Scottish blood… Not one drop more should it get!

  4. Julie says:

    I still don’t understand how Mr Mundell increased his majority by thousands in the last election, after it being just under 800 the previous election..

  5. Clapper57 says:

    Paul YOU ARE THE MAN….what a fantastic post.

    There is nothing I could possibly add that would surpass your wonderful way with words and the manner in which you write.

    Have a fabby evening and give the wee dug a pat on the heid from me.

  6. Andy Anderson says:

    Totally scunnered with them all.

  7. susan says:

    Britain, the bastion of democracy…

  8. A brilliant piece, as always. WTG, The Dug! I wish we could get you the same amount of exposure that is given to the Anti-Indy fraternity!

  9. hettyforindy says:

    maybe all we need to read…link from someone from Wings Over Scotland.

    • Wow! I hadn’t read that before but I shall never forget it now. Thanks, Hetty.

      • hettyforindy says:

        Thanks, it just seems to resonate somehow, and I am not even Scottish, but I see the great injustice that has been dealt by Scotland’s neighbour. The butchers.

        It is indeed a powerful speech, and so sad he was executed by the English. The English have a lot to answer for. I am English, btw.

        Roger Casement’s speech sadly, is still relevant today. People have a loyalty to their own people, not in an ethnic nationalist sense, but in an internationalist and civic sense.

        Why would you not want your own country to be free of negative, destructive, divide and rule outside interference, where the rights of your population are secondary at best, and ignored, silenced and even violently oppressed at worst?

        In 21st century Scotland, there is a tug of war going on, and as Roger Casement pointed out, the ‘fears of the dead past’ are irrelevant, backward and antiquated, and definitely not acceptable.

        Scotland has a whole foot dipped into the 21st century, there is no bringing her back now. The Britnats can live in the past if they want, but they are so not dragging Scotland back with them!

      • Wendy,
        like you.. wow.

        “But history is not so recorded in other lands. In Ireland alone, in this twentieth century, is loyalty held to be a crime. If loyalty be something less than love and more than law, then we have had enough of such loyalty for Ireland and Irishmen. If we are to be indicted as criminals, to be shot as murderers, to be imprisoned as convicts, because our offence is that we love Ireland more than we value our lives, then I do not know what virtue resides in any offer of self-government held out to brave men on such terms. Self-government is our right, a thing born in us at birth, a thing no more to be doled out to us, or withheld from us, by another people than the right to life itself — than the right to feel the sun, or smell the flowers, or to love our kind. It is only from the convict these things are withheld, for crime committed and proven and Ireland, that has wronged no man, has injured no land, that has sought no dominion over others — Ireland is being treated today among the nations of the world as if she were a convicted criminal. If it be treason to fight against such an unnatural fate as this, then I am proud to be a rebel, and shall cling to my “rebellion” with the last drop of my blood. If there be no right of rebellion against the state of things that no savage tribe would endure without resistance, then I am sure that it is better for men to fight and die without right than to live in such a state of right as this. Where all your rights have become only an accumulated wrong, where men must beg with bated breath for leave to subsist in their own land, to think their own thoughts, to sing their own songs, to gather the fruits of their own labours, and, even while they beg, to see things inexorably withdrawn from them — then, surely, it is a braver, a saner and truer thing to be a rebel, in act and in deed, against such circumstances as these, than to tamely accept it, as the natural lot of men.”
        What a feckin’ stonker of a speech. The man knew that he was about to be killed by the English empire, and he writes this?
        Wow indeed.
        We have moved on since then.
        We can do it by peaceful means.
        But I will no longer tolerate Mundell and others Up Here betraying Scots. They attempt to impose English ‘law’ on us.
        Children are starving because of our link to England and their Iron Heel Oligarchy.
        No More.
        Paul, you are on fire.
        But …. ‘Fluffy is so lacking in competence that he’s quite possibly sold his soul to satin’…..
        I’m not even going to begin to describe the mental picture this parapraxis conjures up.

        • Wonderful speech, isn’t it, Jack? To quote a weel-kennt English playwright, it “stiffens the sinews, summons up the blood”. Oh, and I’m right with you on the images conjured up by Fluffy and satin … something I could well do with ‘unseeing’!

          • Wendy,
            “Self-government is our right, a thing born in us at birth, a thing no more to be doled out to us, or withheld from us, by another people than the right to life itself — than the right to feel the sun, or smell the flowers, or to love our kind.”
            How anyone can argue against that humble self evident truth beats me.

        • Margaret McQuade McAuslan says:

          Jack, please explain ‘parapraxis’. Can’t find it in the dictionary.

          • Margaret,
            A ‘parapraxis’ is Freud Speak for a ‘slip of the tongue’ in this instance.
            For fear of being sued by Mundell, I’ll decline from further comment on why Paul writes ‘satin’ instead of presumably ‘satan’ in this excellent piece.
            I was being whimsical, that’s all. I tend slightly towards Cognitive rather than Psychoanalysis when I dip into Head Shrinkery.

            “A Freudian slip, also called parapraxis, is an error in speech, memory, or physical action that is interpreted as occurring due to the interference of an unconscious subdued wish or internal train of thought. The concept is part of classical psychoanalysis. Classical examples involve slips of the tongue, but psychoanalytic theory also embraces misreadings, mishearings, temporary forgettings, and the mislaying and losing of objects. ”

            Hence when Prez T explains that he ‘misspoke’ when he sided with Putin rather than his own Secret Service, a Freudian would exclaim ‘Ah-ha!” , or some such Eureka ejaculation.
            Clearly his Pater was a strict disciplinarian. Whit?

            There’s a lot of Freud which stretches the bounds of empiricism.

            His interpretation of dreams stuff is well…scary Signs of the Zodiac-level guff, IMHO.
            Yet Freudian Psychoanalysis is a billion dollar industry.
            Sorry for not writing in Plain Scots, Margaret.
            Mundell in Satin..let’s hope we don’t dream about it.

  10. Deelsdugs says:

    ‘Trying to make some sense of it all,
    But I can see that it makes no sense at all,
    Is it cool to go to sleep on the floor,
    ‘Cause I don’t think that I can take anymore…’

  11. Stookie says:

    “Sold his soul to satin”. Two re-reads before it clicked ! 🤣

  12. I thought I was looking cool a few years ago on holiday. However, I was wearing shorts with sandals and unwittingly committed the fashion faux Pas, of wearing white socks with this outfit. I hope no one else ever has to suffer the hurt and pain of their 12 year old daughter totally disowning you. It was brought home when her little holiday pal asked her, “Isn’t that your Dad over there”? To which she replied, “Eh no, I’ve never seen that man before in my life”. The price of being uncool.

  13. beor says:

    I donate to the Dug to Wings and to various other sites. I would be happy for that to be spread over the media – it’s nothing to be ashamed of – it’s something I’m proud of.

  14. Allie Neave says:

    “The only reason he doesn’t rant in the bottom 100% is because of the existence of David Davis.”

    He’s definitely a ranter.

  15. Peter Marjoram says:

    Hehe, I like how you called Labour “the opposition”. Had me in stitches!

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